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Umbrian history

Foligno


FolignoAn Umbrian town conquered by the Romans, who named it Fulginiae, around 295 B.C. In the twelfth century the town became a free city; linked at first with the Guelph forces, it later sided with the Ghibellines and remained for a long time the principal reference point for the pro-imperial forces in the region, opposed to Guelphic Perugia. At the beginning of the fourteenth century, however, with the reversal in the fortunes of the Ghibelline party, the Guelph faction was able to assert itself in Foligno too (1310), under the Trinci family. Having seized power, Rinaldo Trinci made Foligno the centre of a signoria that gradually extended its political and territorial influence, bringing prestige and wealth to the city. In 1439, following a serious act of violence perpetrated by Corrado III Trinci, Pope Eugene IV had the city occupied by the troops of Cardinal Vitelleschi; Trinci was executed and the territory annexed to the Papal States, sharing their history from then on. In 1860 the town became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

Bevagna


BevagnaThe origin of its name is derived from the noble Etruscan Mefana. It was an Umbrian city and then a flourishing Roman municipium. A Lombard stewardship, it became part of the Papal States in 774. After various vicissitudes, in 1371 it came under the domination of the Trinci family of Foligno, then in 1439 it was subjected to papal governance. In 1860 Church domination ended and Bevagna became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

 

Gualdo Cattaneo


Gualdo CattaneoThe name comes from "Wald", "forest", with the addition of Cattaneo, the name of its founder, Count Edoardo Cattaneo, who was a vassal of the Emperor Otto II of Saxony. Its origins are ancient, and in medieval times Gualdo Cattaneo was part of the Duchy of Spoleto.  In 975 with the building of the castle of Gualdo and its donation to the Cattaneo family, it was very important due to its strategic position dominating the Tiber and Spoleto valleys. In 1493 the Borgia Pope Alexander IV assigned its administration to Foligno, which, to strengthen its defences, built a stronghold there.  In 1860 it became part of the Kingdom of Italy

Montefalco


MontefalcoMontefalco has been an inhabited centre from remotest antiquity.  In the Middle Ages it was known as Coccorone. In 1249 it was laid waste by the troops of Frederick II, but was immediately rebuilt with its present name. During the fourteenth century Montefalco was the preferred seat of the rectors of the Duchy of Spoleto (1320-1355). Then it came under the signoria of the Trincis of Foligno (1379-1424 and 1438-1439). From 1446 to 1860 it was again under the authority of the Church, which accorded it free government, and in 1848 it was granted city status.

Nocera Umbra

Nocera UmbraNocera, which means New Construction, was founded by the Umbri and its development is linked to the Flaminian Way which passes it. In 571 AD it was beseiged by the Lombards, who had come to the defence of the Duchy of Spoleto. The strategic function of Nocera increased until the end of the first millennium. In the twelfth century the town was subjugated by Perugia. Subsequently it was administered by the Papal States. From Renaissance times it began to acquire a certain fame from a visitor's point of view thanks to its water, already renowned for its properties and beneficial effects

Sellano


Sellano 
 
Sellano, situated in the valley of the Vigi, tributory of the Nera River, was founded in about 84 BC by Lucius Silla, hence its name. Always considered highly strategic because of its geographical position, its destiny through the centuries has been inextricably tied to that of the towns around it. So, at different times, it belonged to the Duchy of Spoleto, to the Papal States and to the Collicola family fief.

Spello


Spello Originally a settlement of the ancient Umbri, the Romans called it first Hispellum and then, under Constantine the Great, gave it the name Flavia Constans and accorded it various privileges, among which was the right to build a temple to the Gens Flavia. The Umbri and the Etruscans, by then federated in sacred associations, celebrated their annual festivals here. With the fall of the Western Empire it suffered the fate of the rest of Italy. Damaged during the invasion of the Goths, it became part of the Lombard Duchy of Spoleto and shared its destiny until the end of the twelfth century, when it was subjugated by the Church. In 1360 it was granted communal statutes. From 1389 until 1583 Spello came under the Baglioni family of Perugia, who dominated it, although with ups and downs related to other Lordships. In 1583 it returned once and for all to the Papal States. This was a favourable period for the town, which acquired a number of Renaissance masterpieces.

Trevi


TreviThe ancient town of Trevi stood by the Flaminian Way, at Pietrarossa to be precise. It had a turbulent history: destroyed several times, it was finally rebuilt on higher ground to give it a better chance of defence. Occupied by the Lombards, Trevi was a seat of stewardship and suffered devastation by several cultures. It was united with Foligno by Pope Innocent III. The Pope assigned the vicariate to the sons of Nicolò Maurizi from Tolentino, who kept it until 1440. In 1470 the first printing press in Umbria and the fourth in Italy was set up. In 1784 Pope Pius VI gave Trevi the title of city. In 1860 it became part of the Kingdom of Italy.

Valtopina


ValtopinaAs will be apparent from its name, Valtopina, which may have been called "Cerqua" in ancient times, is located along the Topino River valley between Foligno and Nocera Umbra. The first traces of a settlement date back to just before the year one thousand; since then the town has followed the fortunes of the neighbouring towns, passing under the dominion of Assisi in 1282 and then, in 1383, under the signoria (lordship) of the Trinci family of Foligno.

 

Gubbio


GubbioThe visitor to Gubbio immediately discovers its wealth of natural and artistic beauty. Soft wooded hills, vineyards and olive groves alternate in continuous succession, with wide hollows chequered with trees and fields. Medieval castles and villages offer an extraordinary variety of landscapes and charming views. Typical farmhouses, set among fields of various shapes and colors, draw a multicoloured mosaic of great beauty. In the various towns, which blend with the landscape in perfect harmony, there are countless works of art. The altitude, the variety of the terrain, the layout and distribution of the contours, enhance the landscape with different characteristics

Città di castello


Città di CastelloCittà di Castello, situated on a slight hill, is the most populous and most important centre of the Upper Tiber Valley. The first huts on stilts were built on islands in the Tiber lake, now largely receded. In all probability it was founded by the Umbri who, in the early part of the first millennium BC, settled in central Italy and called it Tiferno. In about the seventh century BC they were trading with the Etruscans who had penetrated as far as the right bank of the Tiber.

Terni


TerniThe founding of the city of Terni dates back to the seventh century BC, based on a stone inscription from 32 AD dedicated "To the perpetual august health, the public liberty of the Roman people, the Genius of the Municipium in the year 704 after the founding of Interamna under the consulship of Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus".  According to the inscription, the city was founded in 672 BC, and although this date cannot be taken literally, since presumably it relates to a myth, archeological evidence of a settlement here dates from that period (8th-7th centuries). The first of these are probably attributable to the Umbri or the Sabines and so human occupation of the district began in the Neolithic period. In about the third century BC it was conquered by the Romans and their presence extended along the Flaminian Way: settlements sprang up around the area, favouring the transformation of some local centers into municipia and then into a flourishing town.

Orvieto


OrvietoThe city of Orvieto, in symbiosis with the tuff cliff on which it stands, is an outstanding example of integration between man and nature. In some cases the evidence of the awareness of this relationship between nature and architecture is expressed explicitly, as in the inscription affixed to the famous well of San Patrizio which states "quod naturemunimento inviderat industry adiecit" clarifying that "What nature had denied for the defence - in this case water - was added by human activity". Visiting this town is like traversing history, because the traces of every past age for almost three thousand years can be found here, stratified and concentrated in a pre-established physical space.

Perugia


fotofontapgridimePerugia is the capital of Umbria.  It was originally an Etruscan city (Perusia) and became a Roman town in 295 BC. Perugia, with its narrow streets and alleys, churches, stately palaces and its long history, is a city to be explored by visitors in all its splendour, yet still preserving the appearance of a small medieval walled town.  You can visit the National Gallery, the Etruscan Well, the Oratory of San Bernardino, or simply stroll around and shop in Corso Vannucci.  You can admire fifteenth century paintings and frescoes and Renaissance masterpieces; outstanding among these are masterpieces by Duccio di Buoninsegna, Piero della Francesca, Fra Angelico, Pinturicchio and Perugino.  Among the most important events in the city we can cite the Umbria Jazz musical festival and the gastronomic festival 'Eurochocolate'.

Todi


todiTodi is a town that stands out for its beauty and its history. Its origins date back to the eighth century before Christ, when, under the name 'Tutere', it marked the boundary of the Etruscan lands. Todi still retains one of the most beautiful squares in Italy: Piazza del Popolo, with its stunningly beautiful buildings -- Palazzo del Popolo(1200), Palazzo dei Priori (14th century) and Palazzo del Capitano (1300). The latter is now home to the Art Gallery which houses an altarpiece by the school of Perugino. Piazza del Popolo is also access to the underground Todi, where you can visit the Roman cisterns, the underground water system of the ancient town. The city is protected by a double wall, externally Etruscan and internally medieval. In recent years, Todi has been named the most livable town in Italy. Todi

Spoleto


arrivospoleto_piccolaSpoleto is a city which combines Roman monuments and medieval palaces. It was first a flourishing Lombard Duchy and then an important centre of the Papal States. Among the oldest works in Spoleto are the Arch of Drusus dating from 23 AD (near the Romanesque church of Sant'Ansano), the Roman theatre which dates back to the early Empire, as well as the early Christian basilica of the fourth-century church of San Gregorio Maggiore, the triple-arched Roman bridge in travertine blocks and the second century AD amphitheatre, and the mighty Ponte delle Torri (Bridge of the Towers). Among the important events taking place in the city the Festival of the Two Worlds deserves a special mention. Through these events the City has earned a role of importance in the international art and culture world and the related activities have taken a leading role in the local economy.

Assisi


Assisibasilica_piccolaAssisi, like other towns in Umbria, was influenced by the Etruscans and the Romans. The passage of these populations is evident. It can be seen in the numerous monuments scattered throughout the city, like the facade of the Temple of Minerva, the remains of the Forum, the amphitheatre, the Roman walls, the famous "Rocca Paolina", the churches of St Clare, San Rufino, the Basilica of St Francis. Later it also suffered domination by the Goths, the Lombards and the Papal States. Assisi is the birthplace of St Francis, the most famous of its citizens. It is lovely to get lost in the alleys and narrow streets of this historic city with its unique atmosphere.

Lago trasimeno


lagotrasimeno_piccola

Lake Trasimeno is the largest park in the region. It comprises three islands: Isola Polvese, the largest, an important educational and environmental study centre; Isola Maggiore, the second largest, with its pretty fishing village dating from the fifteenth century; Isola Minore, which is private property. The park is a nature wetland of great importance.  The lake, nestled among the hills of Umbria, has always represented an important area for waterfowl wintering, resting and reproduction, and a perfect habitat for fish species to live in and breed.  The prettiest and most important towns overlooking the lake are: Castiglione del Lago, Tuoro and Passigano, where you can experience a unique and unforgettable atmosphere.

 



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